The must-anticipated National Football League season is finally here, and we are celebrating its arrival by making Packers vs Bears predictions for Thursday Night Football!
Football is the most common sport to watch and bet on the United States and the NFL is the conductor of that train, so the beginning of a new season is hugely important to the industry in the growing number states with legal NFL betting online including New Jersey.
In September 2018, online sports gambling in the Garden State pulled in nearly $105 million in wagers and earned over $15 million in revenue. It was a massive bump after taking in around $21 million in bets and slightly over $million in revenue in August. A year later, revenue figures at the best sports betting sites in NJ like FanDuel are about to skyrocket again in the second football season since legal online betting in New Jersey launched.
As for the Bears and Packers, it's the very first game on the 2019 NFL schedule so we can be sure the public and sharp bettors alike will be all over this line. The disadvantage of making NFL Week 1 betting picks is the fact that there is little to go on from a gambling standpoint besides results from a different season. An advantage exists, too, and is that everyone has nearly all the same information even if it is very little.
Below are the odds from FanDuel NJ to keep an eye on for the Bears-Packers matchup in prime time:
Packers vs. Bears Betting Prediction Week 1
The Chicago Bears are hosting the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field as three-point favorites with the total set at 46.5 points.
Coming into the season, these are the two teams expected to battle it out for the NFC North title Chicago was last season's division winner at 10-6 and are +180 favorites to repeat. The Packers, however, have a new-look offense and are right there at +185 to take back the division according to odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.
Packers Preview Week 1
The Packers aren't quite the same team they were a season ago when they went 1-7 on the road.
The team has a new head coach in Matt LaFleur and an entirely new offense while Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers starts the season healthy after dealing with knee and concussion issues last season.
Green Bay is expected to be more dominant on offense with weapons like Davante Adams on the outside and should compete with a renovated defense as well. For Week 1, the Bears are playing without mastermind defensive coordinator Vic Fangio for the first time, and the Packers' new offense should have some wrinkles to make things even tougher for Chicago.
Bears Preview Week 1
The Bears are looking to repeat as NFC North champions and start the journey with a pretty tough matchup, albeit at home.
This team will rely on the No. 1 scoring defense in the NFL from a season ago and despite losing its defensive coordinator to a head coaching position, Khalil Mack still leads a fearsome unit that should make things hard on every opponent, including the Packers.
Pundits and fans seem to be split on quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who seemed to take steps in the right direction in 2018. His third season is crucially important since it's unlikely the defense can carry a below-average NFL offense to a 12-4 record again.
Packers vs Bears Prediction
Bears opened around four-point favorites and it was quickly cut to down to three points, showing that bettors are liking the Packers. With little such little reliable statistical info to go on, these line movements become even more key to understand and can help you make NFL betting predictions early in the season.
In recent years, favorites see a ton of action during Week 1 since they are perceived to be the “better team” but results against the spread have favored underdogs on more occasions than you think. Knowing some underdogs will come out on top or at least cover the spread, a divisional game featuring a healthy Aaron Rodgers may be a great spot.
In a close game that likely ends within field-goal range, we'll take the free points with the Packers' new-look offense.
Pick: Packers +3 (-110) - Place your bet at FanDuel NJ Sportsbook
Packers-Bears Totals Prediction
There is definitely major public action on the total of this game as it kicks off the NFL season. Most of the action has seemed to be on the under, yet the total has stuck around 46.5 instead of lowering.
This tells us that there could be larger wagers (likely from sharp bettors) coming in on the over, and without much to go on, that's what we'll use to make this pick on the Over 46.5 points.
Pick: Over 46.5 Points (-110) - Place Your Bet At FanDuel Sportsbook PA
FanDuel Same Game Parlay For Packers vs Bears Week 1
Newly-introduced onto the FanDuel Sportsbook platform in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania is the Same Game Parlay, which allows you to pair the spread with the total in exchange for more profitable odds.
If you've got a great feeling about both sides of the same game, this is a betting option that increases the risk and the reward, as both legs need to hit for the bet to be a winner. The parlay at FanDuel actually gives us an extra half-point with the Packers and the same total of 46.5 at a boosted payout of +241 if we nail both picks.